All events begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted below and are free of charge, but seating is limited.
The Forum, Goldsmith Campus
9045 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA. 90045
September 5: Lydia Millet
Lydia Millet is an American novelist, short-story writer, and conservationist. She is the author of eleven works of fiction. Millet won the PEN-USA award for fiction for her early novel My Happy Life in 2002; in 2010, her story collection Love in Infant Monkeys was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2008, 2011, and 2012 she published three novels in a critically acclaimed series: How the Dead Dream, Ghost Lights, and Magnificence. 2014 saw the publication of her first book for young-adult readers, Pills and Starships. This was followed by the satirical novel, Mermaids in Paradise. Sweet Lamb of Heaven, a psychological thriller, was longlisted for the National Book Award in 2016. Fight No More is her second collection of short stories and is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in June 2018.
September 19: Morgan Parker
Morgan Parker is the author of the 2017 poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and 2015’s Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night which was selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award. In 2019 a third collection of poems, Magical Negro, will be published by Tin House, and a young adult novel will be published by Delacorte Press. Her debut book of nonfiction will be released in 2020 by One World. Her poetry and essays have been published and anthologized in numerous publications, including The Paris Review, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, Best American Poetry 2016, the New York Times, and The Nation. Parker is the recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a 2016 Pushcart Prize, and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. She is the creator and host of Reparations, Live! at the Ace Hotel in New York. With Tommy Pico, she co-curates the Poets With Attitude (PWA) reading series, and with Angel Nafis, she is The Other Black Girl Collective.
October 3: Venita Blackburn
Venita Blackburn’s debut story collection, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, is a finalist for the 2018 Young Lions Fiction Award and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. In 2016 she received the Prairie Schooner book prize in fiction and was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship in 2014 and three Pushcart prize nominations. Her stories have appeared in Pleiades, Madison Review, Bat City Review, Nashville Review, Smoke Long Quarterly, Café Irreal, Santa Monica Review, Faultline, American Short Fiction, Devil’s Lake Review, Bellevue Literary Review. She is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program at Fresno State.
MFA Lecture Series October 17: Malik Gaines
Malik Gaines is based in New York, where he is assistant professor of Performance Studies in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His 2017 book, Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left, traces a circulation of political ideas in performances of the 1960s and beyond. His essays have appeared in Art Journal, Women & Performance, e-flux, and in many exhibition catalogues and arts publications. Since 2000, he has performed and exhibited widely with the group My Barbarian, whose work has been included in the Whitney Biennial, two Performa Biennials, the Montreal Biennial and the Baltic Triennial, among others.
October 24: Rajiv Mohabir
Rajiv Mohabir is an Indo-Caribbean American author of two poetry collections, The Taxidermist’s Cut and Cowherd’s Son, and four chapbooks. He is the winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize, a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry, and has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nation’s Artist foundation, Kundiman, The Home School, and the American Institute of Indian Studies language program. His poems and translations have appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, Quarterly West, Guernica, The Collagist, The Journal, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, small axe, The Asian American Literary Review, Great River Review, and PANK. He received his PhD in English from the University of Hawaii and is currently on staff at Auburn University in Alabama.
November 7: Jade Chang
Jade Chang’s debut novel, The Wangs vs. the World, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, an October 2016 Indie Next Pick, and was named to fall reading lists by PopSugar, BuzzFeed, Nylon, Bustle, Millions, and Frisky. She has worked as an arts and culture journalist and was recently an editor at Goodreads. She is the recipient of a Sundance Fellowship for Arts Journalism, the AIGA/Winterhouse Award for Design Criticism. Jade is the winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and a nominee of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. The Wangs vs. The World has been published in 12 languages.
MFA Lecture Series November 14: Willem Henri Lucas
Willem Henri Lucas
Willem Henri Lucas studied at the Academy of Visual Arts in Arnhem in the Netherlands and did his post academic studies at the Sandberg Institute (Rietveld Academy) in Amsterdam. From 1990 to 2002 he served as a professor and chair of the Utrecht School of the Arts’ Graphic Design department and is currently a professor in the Department of Design Media Arts at UCLA. He collaborates with individuals and institutions in the field of Culture and Art. In 1998 he designed holiday postage stamps for the PTT (Dutch Post and telecom company). He has won several design awards in the Netherlands and the US. Primarily a book designer exploring the sensibilities of printed matter, Lucas is interested social issues and bringing design back “to the street,” and “humanity” back into design. His body of work deals with issues of “war and love and the human condition.”
November 28: Ari Banias
Ari Banias’ collection of poems, Anybody, was published by W.W. Norton and named a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Center USA Literary Award. He is the author of the chapbook, What’s Personal is Being Here With All of You. His poems appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, POETRY, A Public Space, The Volta, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and as part of the MOTHA exhibition Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects. He has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program.
MFA Lecture Series December 5: Esther Pearl Watson
Esther Pearl Watson
Esther Pearl Watson is a painter, cartoonist, illustrator, and visual storyteller. She has exhibited internationally at Galleri Galleberg in Norway, Grafikens Hus in Sweden, and Antonio Colombo Gallery in Milan, as well as across the United States at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Oakland Museum of California, Webb Gallery, Billy Shire Fine Art, La Luz de Jesus and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Watson is also the author of the graphic novels Romeo & Juliet and Unlovable, published by Fantagraphics. Unlovable has appeared regularly in BUST Magazine for over twelve years. She is co-author of Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine? She is a frequent contributor of editorial illustrations for The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and The New Republic. She has done a number of book illustrations, including the cover of American Illustration 22. Watson currently teaches at ArtCenter College of Design.
January 23: Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Columbia and is author of the novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She recently received the Mary Tanenbaum Award for non-fiction, and the Audio Miller Prize from The Missouri Review. She has been a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and has received scholarships and support from VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, Djerassi Artist Residency Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She is the book columnist for KQED, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate. She has taught at the University of San Francisco, and currently teaches writing to immigrant high school students as part of a San Francisco Arts Commission initiative bringing artists into public schools.
January 30: Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III is the author of seven books, including most recently Gone So Long. His novel House of Sand and Fog was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, as well as an Oprah Book Club Selection. It was adapted into the Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. The Garden of Last Days is soon to be a major motion picture. His memoir, Townie, was a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times Editors Choice. Dirty Love was chosen as a Notable Book and Editor’s Choice from the New York Times, a Notable Fiction from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus Starred Best Book of 2013. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages.
MFA Lecture Series February 6: Alison Saar
Alison Saar is a sculptor, mixed-media, and installation artist. Her artwork addresses ideas of race, gender, culture, spirituality, and focuses on the African diaspora and black female identity. Saar earned a BA from Scripps College and her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. She has had solo exhibitions at Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the Brooklyn Museum, High Museum in Atlanta, OMI International Arts Center in Ghent, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Springfield Art Museum, UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History, and Santa Monica Museum of Art. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The New Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Getty Center in Los Angeles, The Studio Museum in Harlem, among many other institutions. Saar has been awarded many distinguished grants, honors, and residencies including awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
February 13: Melissa Broder
Fiction writer, essayist, and poet Melissa Broder is the author of the novel, The Pisces, the essay collection, So Sad Today, and several poetry collections including, Last Sext, Scarecrone, and When you Say One Thing but Mean Your Mother. Broder writes the So Sad Today column for VICE, the horoscopes for Lenny Letter, and the Beauty and Death column at Elle.com. Her poems have appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for poetry.
February 27: Ramona Ausubel
Ramona Ausubel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of a new collection of short stories, Awayland, as well as two novels: Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, which was a San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Best Book of the Year and a People magazine Book of the Week, and No One is Here Except All of Us, published in 2012. Her debut story collection, A Guide to Being Born, was a New York Times Notable Book. Winner of the Pen Center USA Literary Award for Fiction and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, she has also been a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Story Award and the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, the New York Times, NPR’s Selected Shorts, One Story, Electric Literature, Ploughshares, The Oxford American, and collected in The Best American Fantasy and online in The Paris Review. She has been a finalist for the Pushcart Prize and a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Ausubel is a faculty member in the Low-Residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts and Visiting Professor at Colorado College.
MFA Lecture Series March 6: Riah Buchanan
Riah Buchanan is a graphic designer living in LA and Seattle, where she is pursuing a PhD at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington. She is currently researching the dissemination of government images and documents through the lens of speculative design. She recently worked for Metro designing Los Angeles' bike share and is interested in the aesthetics of digital networks that modify and respond to the physical landscape. She has exhibited at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), George Mason University, A+D Museum, Eyebeam, Public Fiction and Cities of Days in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in Eros magazine in London, wowhuh.com, and Kulturfolger, a Zurich-based publication
March 13: Daniel A. Olivas
Daniel A. Olivas
An attorney with the California Department of Justice in the Public Rights Division, Daniel A. Olivas is the author of nine books, most recently, The King of Lighting Fixtures: Stories, and Crossing the Border: Collected Poems. He is the editor of the anthology, Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, and co-editor of The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles. Olivas is a contributing writer to more than a dozen anthologies including Fantasmas: Supernatural Stories by Mexican American Writers, edited by Rob Johnson, Love to Mamá: A Tribute to Mothers, edited by Pat Mora, Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America, edited by Robert Shapard, James Thomas, and Ray Gonzalez, and New California Writing 2012, edited by Gayle Wattawa. Olivas has written for the New York Times, El Paso Times, Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, High Country News, LAObserved, and Jewish Journal. His writing has appeared in literary journals including PANK, Pilgrimage, Fairy Tale Review, MacGuffin, and New Madrid. He regularly contributes to La Bloga, which is dedicated to Chicanx and Latinx literature.
MFA Lecture SeriesApril 10: Tim Youd
A performance and visual artist, Tim Youd is presently engaged in the retyping of 100 novels over a many-year period. He has been in residence at various historic writer’s homes, including William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak in Oxford, MS, Flannery O’Connor’s Andalusia in Milledgeville, GA, and Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House in Rodmell, Sussex. Most recently, in the Spring of 2018, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis exhibited his work and hosted a multi-novel performance cycle. Youd's work has been the subject of numerous other museum exhibitions, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art, Hemingway-Pfeffer Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Hanes Gallery at Wake Forest, and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. He has presented and performed his 100 Novels project at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and LAXART, the Museo dell’Ara Pacis in Rome, and has retyped Joe Orton’s Collected Plays at The Queen’s Theatre with MOCA London. Diptychs from the Hudson Valley retyping cycle will be exhibited at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center’s Focus Gallery in fall 2018. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
April 24: Sasha Pimentel
Born in Manila and raised in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, Sasha Pimentel is a Filipina poet and author of For Want of Water, selected by Gregory Pardlo as a winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series, longlisted for the 2018 PEN America Open Book Award, and Insides She Swallowed, winner of the 2011 American Book Award. A finalist for the 2015 Rome Prize in Literature (American Academy of Arts and Letters), her work has been featured in New York Times Magazine, PBS NewsHour online, Poets & Writers, American Poetry Review, LitHub, Guernica, New England Review and Crazyhorse, among others. She is an associate professor in the Bilingual (Spanish-English) MFA in Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, and serves as affiliated faculty in the Chican@ Studies Program.